Sunday, April 23, 2006

Young Officers Join the Debate Over Rumsfeld - New York Times

Young Officers Join the Debate Over Rumsfeld - New York Times: "Kori Schake, a fellow at the Hoover Institution who teaches Army cadets at West Point, said some of the debates revolved around the issues raised in 'Dereliction of Duty,' a book that analyzes why the Joint Chiefs of Staff seemed unable or unwilling to challenge civilian decisions during the war in Vietnam. Published in 1997, the book was written by Col. H. R. McMaster, who recently returned from a year in Iraq as commander of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment.
'It's a fundamentally healthy debate,' Ms. Schake said. 'Junior officers look around at the senior leadership and say, 'Are these people I admire, that I want to be like?' '
These younger officers 'are debating the standard of leadership,' she said. 'Is it good enough to do only what civilian masters tell you to do? Or do you have a responsibility to shape that policy, and what actions should you undertake if you believe they are making mistakes?' "

There's an interesting debate emerging here, and it has repercussions at our local level, as with the situation in which Fire Chief Paul Stubbs finds himself relative to the administration. At what point might a fire chief be derelict in his duties? How must he discharge his obligation to the public? We need to be helping our commanders through these difficult times.

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